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Deadly stabbing of Bob Lee raises anxiety of returning office workers in San Francisco's Rincon Hill

Exec's fatal stabbing raises returning office workers' anxiety
Tech exec's fatal stabbing raises returning SF office workers' anxiety 03:58

SAN FRANCISCO -- The deadly stabbing that killed tech executive Bob Lee has sparked a heated debate over public safety in San Francisco and whether the perception matches the reality.

Christina Nguyen is a tech worker whose job is in the Rincon Hill neighborhood Update: Cash App founder, MobileCoin CPO Bob Lee stabbed to death in San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood. She spoke with KPIX while she went to get lunch Thursday and offered some strong words about the city's safety.

"Growing up in the Bay Area, in San Jose, I've been to San Francisco several times, and I definitely don't consider SF safe. There are pockets where I don't feel comfortable walking through in the middle of the day. I would walk around it. Get a car, " Nguyen said.

ALSO READ: Grim new details surface about fatal San Francisco stabbing of tech exec Bob Lee

She commutes to San Francisco a few times a week for work, but says she would never live here.

Crime concerns in San Francisco's Rincon Hill
Crime concerns in San Francisco's Rincon Hill CBS

"One of the reasons I have never moved to San Francisco -- even though my company is here, I have many friends here, I'm from the Bay Area -- one of the reasons why is safety. I don't think that many of the neighborhoods here are places where I wanna live," she explained. "And the safer neighborhoods, the prices are so high, that kinda pushes anyone else out being able to move to the city." 

Despite some residents feeling unsafe, there are efforts to keep the Rincon Hill neighborhood alive and thriving. During our time with Christina, we also took a walking tour with the East Cut, a local organization that aims to unite the Rincon Hill, Folsom Street, and Transbay areas under a new banner and identity.

ALSO READ: Memorials, anxiety grow at S.F. Rincon Hill site of tech executive Bob Lee's deadly stabbing

Through this initiative, the organization hopes to foster a stronger sense of community and belonging among residents and businesses in the area, making the neighborhood a more welcoming and safer place for all.

According to the city's crime statistics, while there has been a rise in some types of crime, overall crime rates in San Francisco have decreased over the past year. KPIX spoke about these numbers to San Francisco Police Department Commissioner Kevin Benedicto.

"I know that a lot of people are scared. It's always scary and anxiety-inducing when there's an act of violence in our community. Still, I think it's important in our fear and anxiety to remember that we are in a generally safe community, that we are together as a community, and that there are real problems in SF," Benedicto said. "We should take these problems seriously, but not buy into some false narrative about a crime wave or things like that."

ALSO READ: Slaying of tech exec Bob Lee heightens vigilance in San Francisco's East Cut neighborhood

He says the city has been taking steps to address the issue of crime, including increasing police presence in high-crime areas and implementing programs to help prevent crime, but he knows there is one issue they still need to work on.

"The San Francisco Police Department is severely understaffed. The Police Commission has tried to do what they can to improve staffing. The SFPD just had a recruitment fair. I've been working with the command staff to increase our academy graduation rates," Benedicto added.

As the city grapples with the issue of crime, residents like Christina say they will continue to take precautions to protect themselves. She plans to keep coming to the city for work, but also wants to spend more time working from home in San Jose until she feels safe again in this area.

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